Have you ever posted something online that you know you shouldn’t have? Maybe it was a simple two-tone tweet, or a comment on a video that perfectly described the anger you felt towards it. Regardless of the platform, we all have that post we regret. At times, the internet can feel a bit...
When I was a little girl, I can remember that no matter what event it was, I’d hide behind my parents, and wait until it was over. Every time. This reminds me of what we Christians end up doing when it comes to the topic of community. A lot of us tend to hide away, for a lot of different...
Everyone has experienced the following moment at least once in their life. They walk into an environment, and immediately feel tension. Whether it’s because a coworker and your boss have gotten into an argument recently, or a friend has something on their mind, it’s as if we have a...
“Being depressed does not disqualify you from being used by God either. Sometimes God uses us in spite of our depression. Sometimes He uses us because of our depression. God wants us to live a life of joy. We also have real and raw emotions, including depression. When you are depressed...
Haven’t we all had a moment in a service, where we’ve just wish we’d stayed in bed. Try as you might to deny this fact, we know that every once is in a while you just can’t help but have the desire to sleep in and relax on a Sunday. Not that this in inherently wrong to do...
Authors Note:Hi! This is Lillian. Seeing as this is the holiday season, I kinda wanted to do something different and show you the creative writing side of this blog. This will be a new feature, where on occasion instead of a topic being discussed, it will be a short writing piece inspired by...
Whenever I sit down at night to relinquish my stresses and struggles in prayer, there’s a part of me that always wonders, Should I pray more than this? I pray often, before every meal, in the morning, in the night. It is then that I realized something: I never pray in public. How crazy! I...
Picture this: you’re sitting in church or your weekly youth group and they’re going through the announcements. Simple enough right? You may check your phone during this time, maybe daydream a little if given enough minutes. By the end, you haven’t heard a thing of what was...
So, what do you picture when you think of the word “Angel”? Maybe a cute chubby little baby with wings comes to mind; or a tall brooding figure with enormous wings carrying a message. There are also many that consider them human looking, like us, made in the image and likeness of...
Have you ever felt yourself begin to listen to your thoughts too much? No matter how hard you try, you can’t get your mind off that bad test grade, or maybe that recent breakup. No matter the reason, those thoughts can quickly can turn into an extremely negative headspace. Sometimes we as...
Have you ever posted something online that you know you shouldn’t have? Maybe it was a simple two-tone tweet, or a comment on a video that perfectly described the anger you felt towards it. Regardless of the platform, we all have that post we regret. At times, the internet can feel a bit overwhelming, especially on apps that showcase others’ lives. I've personally found myself feeling sad after going on social media for the simple reason that I watched someone’s travel video, or exciting adventure, and ultimately felt bad about my own boring life. Another issue with the internet is that many feel their impact is far smaller than it actually is (i.e. causing issues such as cyber bullying).
So how do we, as Jesus followers do this differently?
Don’t Lose Your Christian Identity
It may seem incredibly easy to just remember who you are online, but it’s harder than you think. You can become an entirely different person when you turn on the screen, which is why it’s so important to not become anonymous. Things that you can do to help yourself to stay motivated is to keep your name, don’t lose yourself. Maybe even put a Bible quote in your bio, or list yourself as a Christian. You’d be surprised how much of a difference it makes to do this in your daily online life. It adds a sense of still being connected to your real life and your online feed.
Don’t Fear the Off Button
Did you know that the average American uses their phone 11 hours per day? If you were to do the math, that is just about half your day spent on a tiny digital box. You don’t need it, in all honesty. The further you fall into your social profiles, the more disconnect you will feel with yourself, and your identity. Set a time at least once a day where you turn off your phone. The messages, and the like, can wait. Maybe write down a Bible quote you like, or get into a devotional. Whatever it is, make it a goal to take a break at least once per day. Your mind will thank you.
Still Finding it Hard to Disconnect?
Don’t get discouraged! They say that anything can become an addiction if you become dependent on it. I know I have a cell phone addiction, and I know it will definitely be a challenge to reduce your time and adjust your online habits. It’s okay to work towards a goal; and you have time, just don’t let it fade into the background.
Remember that even if you're on the online world, you're still you at the end of the day. Don’t type something you would be afraid to say to someone’s face. That’s the best rule of thumb.
When I was a little girl, I can remember that no matter what event it was, I’d hide behind my parents, and wait until it was over. Every time. This reminds me of what we Christians end up doing when it comes to the topic of community. A lot of us tend to hide away, for a lot of different reasons. Maybe it’s due to the worry that if we express our opinions openly with friends, we will lose said friends. Another issue is that a lot of us simply don’t know how to go about it. Truth is, it can be hard to start off a conversation about God, for many reasons. I’m not going to deny this, but that’s what this article is all about! Are you having trouble taking that first jump? Here are some helpful tips on how you can take that leap of faith.
Conversation, Not Confrontation
Sometimes, the first thing so many of us think to do is to immediately repeat a Bible quote word for word to a questioning non-believer. Now, this way of thinking isn’t necessarily a bad way of going about it, but this can at times overwhelm a person from the very beginning. Instead of diving straight in with the topic, try a leading conversation. Don’t force your beliefs, just make your views known, like talking about your youth events, or volunteer serving you did on the weekend. These things will make people curious, thus a segway into your conversation. Remember to not be confrontational, or condemn a person for how they feel. That’s definitely not how you bring someone to an open environment; that leaves them closed off.
Open Heart, Open Mind
Another thing many of us tend to do is keep our faith a secret! For instance: if you’re at lunch and you pray on your way down so you don’t make a “scene” in front of people. Truth is, a lot of us really want to fit in, especially when it comes to high school. It’s important that in these situations you remember one thing: you were created to stand out! You were never meant to fit tightly within the rest of the broken world, as Christians we stand as the difference. Don’t be afraid to show yourself for who you are in your faith. If you want to pray, pray openly and honestly. It isn’t weird or embarrassing, trust me.
Be The Difference
Finally, be the true difference! This planet would be so boring if we all looked and acted the same. If you ever see something that you know isn’t okay, be sure to stand your ground and be firm about it. It’s critical that you do because to most people’s surprise, you’re probably the first to do so. Most of the time people decide to not speak out against things they deem wrong because they assume someone else will get to it. This starts a never ending cycle of things not getting addressed, and it’s not healthy. If you ever hear someone demeaning religion, or making fun of someone’s beliefs, by all means speak out. Once again however, do not fight. Keep it a peaceful conversation, not a angry confrontation.
Remember this as a closing. Be peaceful in your transgressions folks, and don’t forget that it’s about a sinless direction, rather than sinless perfection.
Everyone has experienced the following moment at least once in their life. They walk into an environment, and immediately feel tension. Whether it’s because a coworker and your boss have gotten into an argument recently, or a friend has something on their mind, it’s as if we have a radar detector for when we need to get out of a space.
The real question is: do we actually leave that space when we sense drama? Most, would actually say no. After all it is in our human nature to be noisy, but remember this simple fact. As Christians, we need to be the difference.
You heard right. As Christians, we have to showcase the different behavior. It can be so, so easy to spread rumors around about others, especially if they’re what we consider interesting. Even spreading things like a breakup of a friend can seem inviting, because of course, you’re getting the reaction out of it. Please remember though, just because something feels great in the moment, doesn’t mean it’s not a sin.
Most sins feel great in the moment, but what you’ll quickly realize is that they can lead to a very uncomfortable future. For example if said friend overhears your gossip.
Let’s be serious; Drama is unneeded. You may think a life without it is boring, but it’s unavoidable at times. We can’t always stop it, but in most cases with friends and coworkers, we can.
So what do you do if you find yourself overhearing an interesting conversation that could be hilarious if told to a friend? Don’t tell people. If it’s private information, you shouldn’t share it. No matter how “funny it would be”. It’s not worth it.
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
Remember, we don’t need to spread around drama; it didn’t come from us, so it’s not ours by any means. If you feel the need to spread something around, try making it positive. After all, you may learn something new, or engage in much deeper, more interesting conversations that way. It’s certainly worth a try.
Keep yourself in check, as much as the people around you. If you happen to hear something that doesn’t sit right with you, don’t keep quiet! Even if it makes you uncomfortable for a moment, it’s certainly better than the person on the other end, who feels uncomfortable for a week because of overhearing something said about them.
Some drama is unavoidable, but in cases where it is, you should avoid it at all costs. Keep an open mind, and try having positive conversations with others, with impact. Don’t forget your voice, and remember to speak out against things you don’t agree with. Finally, keep this phrase with you: “Christians are the difference.”
“Being depressed does not disqualify you from being used by God either. Sometimes God uses us in spite of our depression. Sometimes He uses us because of our depression. God wants us to live a life of joy. We also have real and raw emotions, including depression. When you are depressed, don’t hide from the Bible, run to it. Don’t feel condemned, feel comforted.”
-Jason R Mcnaughten, Pastor and Author of ‘A Depressed Christian.’
In life, most of us consider ourselves quite high standing. A prayer in the morning, and a prayer in the evening. It’s possible there have been times where you’ve thought of yourself as completely invincible. You feel as if nothing can touch you, but in this way of thinking you’ve forgotten the broken world we live in. It’s certainly been a long road to getting to a spot of recovery, even for myself. Sometimes, I’d ask myself questions I most definitely knew the answers to. Things like,
“Should you really be by yourself right now?”
“Can a Christian really claim to be godly if they’re still feeling such sadness?”
In truth, many ask these questions to themselves too. You wonder if you can’t be both. That if you’re feeling depressed, you can’t have a successful relationship with God. This, is nothing more than a myth. If anything, this question certainly doesn’t come from God, it comes from down below. No one is perfect, even if you’re a Christian, everyone feels this. If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask your leaders for it. Don’t be afraid to tell people. But most importantly, don’t hide away.
We can help you in any way that you need. Also if you feel like you ever need someone to call, here are the suicide prevention hotlines
Please know you’re not alone, Christian’s get depressed too.
Haven’t we all had a moment in a service, where we’ve just wish we’d stayed in bed. Try as you might to deny this fact, we know that every once is in a while you just can’t help but have the desire to sleep in and relax on a Sunday. Not that this in inherently wrong to do so, but sometimes we’ll find ourselves in a loop of not attending services. From personal experience, I can relate to this fact. However, it’s really important that you keep yourself in the constant rhythm of hearing God's word, and keeping yourself in the chair. Here are some ways you can keep motivation in your service.
Taking a pen and paper to service is actually more effective than one might think. It’s actually very helpful with not only trying to keep the services information in your mind for longer, but also keeping yourself connected to what is going on. This doesn’t have to be specific line by line journalism, but rather doodles and notes that help you grasp a clear picture of what is going. Allow yourself to listen while simultaneously keeping the right side of your mind busy is a great way to stay motivated.
Sitting closer to the front
Whenever we sit close to the Pastor as he speaks, we notice that it’s a lot more attentive than if we were to sit in the back. This is because, for the most part it’s louder, and much easier to see. You’d be surprised at just how much of a difference changing the position of where you are seated can make. You’re also less inclined to distract yourself, when you know you’re seen. It helps to keep you focused on God’s word, thus more likely to come back.
Being attentive during the week
We as Christians should know by now that Sunday’s shouldn’t be the only day that we think about our relationship with God. It’s important to think about him and how he’s working in our life often, making sure that we remind ourselves why we’re thankful for his love. We are children of God after all. Just by thinking about it all week will give you a lot of motivation in itself
We are children of God, we may not always be attentive Christians, but we always make an effort to be a part of the community of fellow members in a Christ. It’s important to keep our minds and motivations to him. Allow yourself to just tune out the outside world, and focus on the word of God.
Prayer Of The Month!
“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.”
James 1:2-4 MSG